The College Money Guys - March 2020

MARCH 2020

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St. Patrick’s Day is going to feel a little different this year. In the past, I’ve shared stories of how my dad, brother, and I get together every year and celebrate our heritage. Even when it’s not March 17, I honor my Irish ancestry — my front door has a Celtic harp, and my bookshelf is crammed full of works like “The Treasury of Irish Folklore” and “How the Irish Saved Civilization.” There’s just one problem, though: As it turns out, we Lloyds aren’t nearly as Irish as we thought we were. You see, my mother’s a bit of an amateur genealogist. She takes a lot of joy in tracing her family history and has managed to do so as far back as the American Revolution. But when it came to my dad’s side of the family, she mostly turned up dead ends. She was able to follow their migration westward from Ellis Island, but nothing earlier than that. And that’s when she got my father a DNA testing kit. I couldn’t fathom the results — we’re almost exclusively British. There’s a little bit of the Irish in us, but not nearly to the extent we were raised thinking we were. After the revelation, I felt like Luke Skywalker finding out Darth Vader is his father. Here I was thinking we Lloyds were the underdog rebels when, in fact, we were part of the empire that was oppressing them! So am I tossing out the shamrocks and breaking out the fish and chips? Not so fast, “mate.” I may only have a sliver of Irish heritage in me, but that sliver is a heck of a

lot more fun to celebrate. Don’t believe me? Name one English whiskey.

Patrick’s Day celebrations, but I’m excited for him to start this next chapter in his life.

I’m mostly poking fun, but this incident has brought up some interesting questions on what it means to honor your ancestry. Here we were following these traditions we unwittingly adopted somewhere along the way. Maybe past Lloyds didn’t celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, but we do now and have done for several generations. Which is more important? I tend to err more on the side of recent traditions. For instance, I’m proud to say my son Nick is following the tradition of his far more recent forefathers in becoming an ensign in the United States Navy. He’ll be heading off to nuclear power school this month and won’t be around for the St.

So maybe, less than blood and DNA, it’s the stories we pass on from generation to generation that matter. Those are what help us build bonds with our kin and identities for ourselves. Sure, a greater percentage of my genetic makeup might be from the UK, but the stories and traditions of the small part of Ireland won out. At some point along the way, when my ancestors were faced with telling their children about being from an empire or from a rebellious nation yearning to be free, the story of freedom won out. I think that says something.


–Bra nnon Lloyd

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GOOGLE CLOUD’S STUDENT- LED ANALYTICS It’s one thing to know the numbers; it’s a whole other ball game to understand what they mean. That’s where Google Cloud’s analytics team comes in to help. In 2018, Google partnered with the NCAA to offer live gameplay analysis, and in 2019, the tech giant hired more than 30 college students to contextualize the numbers throughout the tournament. Google’s steps for 2020 remain a mystery, but you can view past records and data at

It takes some serious basketball knowledge — and a lot of luck — to successfully predict the outcome of March Madness. Whether you’re an average hoops fan or an expert, it’s more difficult than you might think. The Smithsonian estimates the odds of a perfect bracket are 1 in 9.2 quadrillion. But gone are the days of relying on the most intimidating mascot to make your decisions. Try to beat those odds with these March Madness technologies. ADOBE’S HACK THE BRACKET What if there was a tool that could compare free-throw percentages or shot accuracy between opponents? Well, now there is! For the past two years, Adobe has offered its data analytics software with a simple-to-use system, Hack the Bracket. The program breaks down points, mistakes, fouls, win percentages, and other statistics into side-by- side comparisons. The software also calculates the percentage of a team winning or losing, giving users a closer look at the game.


to create your bracket than with the hosts of spring’s best sporting event: the NCAA’s digital hub. offers you team analysis, real- time updates, and a home for your bracket. With an easy-to-use platform, you don’t have to be a college basketball expert or technology whiz to make your choices and follow your team all the way to the championship.

In 1939, Oregon University became the first team to win March Madness, defeating Ohio State University 46-33 in an eight-team tournament. By 1985, the tournament had grown to 64 teams, and the bracket was born. With that kind of history, there’s no better place


“The College Money Guys definitely saved us money in ways we would never have thought. A friendly team who keeps their eyes on the ball throughout the application process. Thanks.”

–Trevor Moore

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With spring break on the horizon for many students, we have a strong recommendation for the parents of juniors out there: Visit some colleges. Now is the time for your student to get serious about their college education, and using this break to show them what a campus is like can make the search more tangible for them. If you can swing such a trip, here are some tips to keep in mind. NARROW THE SEARCH Many parents and guardians make the mistake of visiting far too many schools. This can overwhelm students and make the college process even more expensive and time-consuming. It’s best to have an idea of the schools your junior is most interested in and has a good chance of being accepted to. Other factors to keep in mind are whether your student wants to go to a rural school or be in the city. Do they care about being at a college with a nationally ranked sports team? What sort of student culture do they feel comfortable in? These can help narrow your search to schools that most interest your junior.

Part of this scouting trip should be to chat with college financial aid officers to get a better idea of what you might expect to pay should your student attend their school. You should ask if their institution has a ceiling on the maximum amount of financial aid a student can qualify for, what percentage of an average student’s financial need is met, and whether the school has a policy of packaging outside scholarships into a financial aid package. If they are vague about these answers, it may be best to consider an alternate school. STEP BACK Conversations with financial aid officers aside, parents and guardians should let their student take the lead on these tours. After all, they might be calling this campus home for the next four years — you want them to ask questions relevant to their interests. These trips are a great opportunity for your junior to really get a feel for college life, and letting them take the reins is a great way to introduce them to the independence and personal responsibility they’ll soon have.



INGREDIENTS • 2 1/2 tbsp olive oil, divided • 4 boneless and skinless chicken breasts, pounded to a 1-inch thickness • Salt and pepper to taste

• 1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted • 6 tbsp spinach pesto • 2 cups cherry tomatoes • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced • 1 tsp red wine vinegar

• 1/4 cup whole-wheat panko • 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese DIRECTIONS 1. In a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat, add 1 tbsp olive oil. 2. Season chicken with salt and pepper, and add it to pan. Cook chicken for 5 minutes on each side, then remove pan from heat. 3. In a bowl, combine panko, Parmesan cheese, and butter. 4. Spread pesto over chicken and top with panko mixture. 5. Broil chicken for 2 minutes on high heat until browned. 6. In a skillet, heat remaining oil over medium-high heat. 7. Add tomatoes and cook for 6 minutes. 8. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. 9. Season tomato mixture with salt and pepper, and add red wine vinegar. 10. Serve tomatoes with broiled chicken.

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Brannon Learns His Ancestry

MarchMadness Tech toMake You a Predicting Genius

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3 Tips for a Successful College Trip

Pesto ChickenWith Blistered Tomatoes

Stay StatesideWithThese Little-Known St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations


There’s no place quite like Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day. What was once a purely religious holiday to honor the legend of St. Patrick chasing all the snakes out of the country has turned into a global celebration. But if a trip to Ireland isn’t in the budget, check out these three little-known stateside destinations that are just as festive. SHORT AND SWEET IN ARKANSAS Thanks to the clever thinking of some Irish friends meeting for a pint at a bar on one of the shortest streets in the world, Bridge Street in Hot Springs, Arkansas, the First Ever 17th Annual World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade will travel 98 feet once again this year. Don’t assume the turnout isn’t robust just because the distance is staggeringly low. The parade lasts for hours, drawing thousands of people to watch celebrities, musicians, bands, floats, and Miss Arkansas glide by. The event also features a Blarney stone kissing contest and a parade king and queen. A LITTLE LUCK IN AMERICA’S HEARTLAND STAYING STATESIDE FOR ST. PADDY’S? CELEBRATE WITH THESE LITTLE-KNOWN FESTIVITIES

heritage every March with a traditional parade, music, and Irish dancing. But the town also hosts a popular dodgeball tournament and donkey basketball. What could be better than pummeling your opponents in dodgeball and outpacing the competition while riding a donkey in the school gymnasium? Perhaps enjoying a pint or two with your teammates afterward. And O’Neill is just the spot to do it. OHIO’S LITTLE PIECE OF IRELAND You may not be able to fly to Ireland, but you can visit a little piece of it right in the U.S. Head to Dublin, Ohio, this St. Patrick’s Day for a traditional celebration sure to put a wee bit o’ pep in your step. Partake in a traditional Irish breakfast or enjoy a parade complete with bagpipers and Irish dancers. Boasting one of the largest celebrations in the U.S., Dublin is an affordable alternative for those looking to celebrate the Irish way.

O’Neill, Nebraska, is home to the world’s largest shamrock and more unique St. Patrick’s Day traditions. This Irish community doubles down on its

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